Writing Wednesday – 2019 Writing Goals

NaNo last year failed for me before it started because I realized halfway into my October Prep that the story I was working on was a lot bigger than I thought, and would require massive amounts of plotting, world-building, and prep work before I could begin.

So, as far as original work goes, I want to spend this year plotting and world-building.  I got very overwhelmed by the amount of world-building I was looking at, which seemed (and does still at times seem) like an impossible amount of information to figure out.  Re-watching Brandon Sanderson’s lectures on YouTube actually really helped me there; his method of points of conflict helped me focus on what world-building features I needed to focus on and where I could give myself limitations.  I’m writing a high-fantasy with time travel elements, and I realized I was biting off enough for myself without having to come up with several different countries and societies and cultures with trade routes and relationships with one another.  I could focus on one region, and the history of that one specific place and people.  That was a huge help, and a lot of weight off my shoulders, but there’s still a lot to do and I want to give myself time to figure it out without stressing myself out too much.

Otherwise, writing wise, I’m planning on working on my fanfiction for the simple fact that it’ll give me a way to work on developing my writing style and getting back into the habit of writing on a daily basis, without the pressure of constructing new worlds and brand new characters.

I’m hoping to share my process on both plotting my original work and writing for the fanfic challenges I sign up for, but I’m making absolutely no promises as to how often that’ll happen.

 

Until next time.

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January TBR

In order to reach my 2019 goal of reading 75 books, I need to read 6.5 books a month.  So each month, I’ll pick at least 7 books to read.  One book will always be a Brandon Sanderson book, per my goal to read more of him this year; another will be from the list I made of twelve books I must read this year; finally, I’m also hoping to read at least one OwlCrate book a month.

Without further ado:

  1. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – I have an ARC of this book and its my current read.  I actually started reading it shortly before Christmas, but I’ve had so much to do in the last few weeks that I haven’t been able to get it finished.  I’m only 150 pages in.
  2. The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin – I’ve been trying to read this book for months, but I haven’t been in the right frame of mind to really dive into something as complex as this book is.  But, I’m feeling a lot better mentally and I hope January will be the month I get this book finished.
  3. This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender – This is supposed to be a fun, light-hearted queer read and I really just need more of that in my life right now.
  4. The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan – The first book in the Trials of Apollo series, which is the entire reason I set off on my journey last year to read all of Rick Riordan. I’m sad I didn’t get to this series last year, but I’m definitely going to get to it now.
  5. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – This is my pick from my list of 2019 MUST reads.  I’ve owned this book for two years. I own the second book. I need to read this book already, because I’m almost 100% certain that I’m going to LOVE it.
  6. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore – I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book, and I really enjoyed When The Moon Was Ours.  I actually own four other books by this author and I honestly want to read them all this year.
  7. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa – This is the OwlCrate book I’m hoping to get read in January.  I’ve heard great things, and it helps me with my goal to read more diverse fantasy in 2019.
  8. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson – I feel like this is the obvious place to start with Brandon Sanderson. I started Mistborn back in October, but only got a few chapters in before I needed to return it to the library.

Books I MUST get to in 2019

I was inspired by Cece over at ProblemsOfABookNerd to compile a list of 12 books I absolutely HAVE to read this year. These are all books I’ve owned for a least a year, and in some cases nearing three, and want to read but just haven’t gotten around to for one reason or another. The goal is to read at least one a month for all of 2019.

  1. Sabriel by Garth Nix
  2. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
  3. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  4. Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  5. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
  6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  7. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  8. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  9. Exit Pursued by a Bear by EK Johnston
  10. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
  11. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
  12. Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

Goals for 2019

So my number one goal for 2019 is going to be to write more.  I really fell away from writing in 2017, and I want to get back into it.  I’ve always felt better, emotionally and mentally, when I have writing as an outlet.

Because I’m going to be focusing more on writing, I’m going to take a step back from reading.  I’m going to set my 2019 GoodReads Reading Goal at 75 books because of this.  There are still a TON of books I want to read in 2019, but I want to make sure I’m taking time to write too.

As far as actual reading goals goes, I want to read more diverse fantasy and scifi.  I read some diverse fantasy in 2018 but most of my diverse reads were contemporary reads, and I’d like to read more diverse fantasy.  I have an entire shelf of diverse fantasy in my library, and my goal is to read all of the books I have on that shelf.

Also, I’m going to borrow a reading goal from Cori from OwlCrate.  In their 2018 goal wrap up video, Cori was explaining that she chooses a new-to-her author each year and makes it a priority to read at least some of their work.  I did this without meaning to in 2018 by prioritizing reading Rick Riordan and I think that went really well, so in 2019 I want to read Brandon Sanderson.  He has fifteen books I’m interested in; I don’t know if I’ll read them all in 2019, but I do want to finally read his work.

And, finally, my last goal has two parts.  First, I want to read more of the books I already own and haven’t gotten to yet.  Second, I want to buy less books in 2019.  In December of 2019, my fiance and I are going to Hawaii to get married so obviously most of my money this year is going to be put towards that trip.  Its really easy to fall into the temptation to buy new books, especially when I’m feeling bad, but I need to be responsible.  Also, I have over 100 books on my shelves that I’ve bought in the last two years and not read, so I really need to read the books I already own before buying new ones.

Looking Back at my 2018 Goals

My main goal for the year was to be better at managing this blog.  Which, I think I did better at it in 2018 than I did in 2017? But I wasn’t great.  I basically stopped posting in October.  In fact, I lost almost all of October and November to depression, and I’m not doing to beat myself up over that.  Me maintaining my mental health is more important than maintaining this blog.

This is going to be something I continue to work on in 2019.

My original GoodReads Reading Goal was set at 120 books, and I thinks sometime in June I changed it to 100.  I am currently (and its December 27th) at 90 books.  Again, I’m not going to feel bad about this considering my mental health took a terrible turn for a few months and I basically read nothing during that time.

My third goal was to read more non-European based fantasy.  While I did read some diverse fantasy, it wasn’t as much as I was wanting to read, so I’m going to continue this goal into 2019 and push myself on this subject a little more.

My fourth goal was to read all of Rick Riordan’s books.  And I think I did well, even if I didn’t read all of his books.  I successfully read all of the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus books, the Kane Chronicles, and the first two books of the Magnus Chase series.  So I only have four books to left to read.  Hopefully I can get them done early in 2019.

And my last goal was to get caught up on all the series I’ve been wanting to read, and I really really failed at that.   Whoops?

 

So, I obviously wasn’t super great at meeting my goals, but I don’t even care.  I did so much better in 2018 than I did in 2017, and I’m going to focus on where I succeeded instead of where I failed.

My list of goals for 2019 will be coming soon, I just haven’t 100% decided on them yet.

Top 10 Books from 2018

This was such an incredibly hard list to make! I read a ton of really amazing books this year (and, technically speaking, the year isn’t over. I just don’t expect any of the books on my TBR to blow me out of the water like the books on this list did) and these are just a few of them.

Note: These titles didn’t all release in 2018. I just read them in 2018.  Also, list is organized by order in which I read them.

  1. Hunting Prince Dracula/Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco
  2. Daughter of the Pirate King/Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller
  3. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
  4. Sightwitch/Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
  5. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  6. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
  7. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
  8. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
  9. Vengeful by VE Schwab
  10. Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

 

Further Notes:

Hunting Prince Dracula was my first read of the year, while I didn’t read Escaping from Houdini until September.
Sightwitch was read in February, while I didn’t read Bloodwitch (which was an ARC) until November.
Tricia Levenseller’s duology were read back to back.

The House of Hades remains my favorite of the Rick Riordan books I read this year (which was most of his work.  My goal was to read two Rick Riordan books a month, but I have three left to read).

Anticipated Book Releases: January – March 2019

January 2019 Book Releases:

8th – Slayer by Kiersten White
15th – The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
29th – King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
29th – The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

February 2019 Book Releases:

5th – On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
12th – Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
19th – The Afterward by EK Johnson
26th – We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
26th – Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

March 2019 Book Releases:

5th – Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
5th – Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta
19th – Sherwood by Meagan Spooner